You may think of gaming headsets as an optional purchase limited to the most hardcore of hardcore gamers, but there are actually plenty of people who could benefit from a decent set of cans.
Whether you want to play online and trash talk your competition, want surround sound audio to pinpoint enemy locations, or just want to save your family or partner from listening to the sounds of gunfire while you game, a decent gaming headset is worth the investment - though it doesn't have to cost a fortune.
In our reviews below, we break each headset down by audio quality, features, design, and price, to offer buying advice no matter your budget or requirements.
For budget-friendly options, take a look at our budget gaming headset chart.
Best gaming headsets 2020
1. Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2
It may be an expensive headset, but we think the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 is well worth a purchase. The Elite Pro 2 boasts incredible audio quality with crisp highs and rich, booming bass, directional audio thanks to 7.1 surround sound support and smartphone compatibility that allows you to take calls via the headset.
We haven't even begun to talk about how comfortable the headset is either. The Aerofit Ear Cushions are incredibly soft and cool to the touch, and mould to the shape of your head as you wear them for extreme comfort over long periods. There is even a gap for glasses wearers!
If money is no object, the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 is the best option right now.
Read our full Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 review
2. Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero
Turtle Beach is on to a winner with the Elite Atlas Aero. The wireless headset offers premium build quality and a high-end audio experience without the budget-breaking price tag of some of the headsets in our chart. The headset is comfortable to wear thanks mainly to the cold-touch memory foam ear cushions, and enhancements to audio playback via the new Control Studio software for PC means gamers can tailor the audio experience in an entirely new way.
The software enables advanced features like Superhuman Hearing, allowing you to pinpoint footsteps and gunshots in online shooters, along with premium 3D audio technology Waves Nx, perfectly simulating a 3D soundscape for added immersion in story-driven games. And while wireless support is exclusive to PC, 3.5mm support allows the headset to be used across consoles too.
For the price, the Elite Atlas Aero should be a serious consideration.
Read our full Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero review
3. Razer Nari Ultimate
The Razer Nari Ultimate is a beautifully-designed high-end headset that delivers not only an exceptional audio experience, but a comfortable one too. Featuring a lightweight aluminium frame, a self-adjusting headband and cooling gel-infused earcups, it’s a headset you’ll be able to wear for hours on end without any uncomfortable aches or behind-the-ear sweats.
HyperSense technology helps the Nari Ultimate stand out from a crowd of gaming headsets, offering intelligent haptic feedback on PC and consoles that can really help immerse you into the world of the game you’re playing. Couple that with THX Spatial Audio support and wireless capabilities, and you’ve got a premium audio experience that shines not only when playing games but listening to music and watching movies too.
Read our full Razer Nari Ultimate review
4. Logitech G Pro X
If you game on PC and don’t mind using a wire, the Logitech G Pro X is almost a no-brainer: tremendous sound, comfort, and design for an attractive price point, paired with Blue microphone software that’ll have you sounding better than you ever have before.
On console it’s a trickier proposition - the headline features will only work on PC with the included USB DAC, and while the Pro X still feels competitive without them, it would be understandable to be tempted by one of the great wireless headsets you can find around the same price point.
Read our full Logitech G Pro X review
5. Logitech G935
The wireless Logitech G935 boasts a gorgeous design that when combined with premium materials offers impressive comfort, even over long gaming sessions - although it's not quite as comfortable as the Elite Pro 2, found above. The customisable buttons are a plus, allowing you to program macros or just about anything else and activate them on-the-fly, and the RGB lighting is bound to impress some.
But while it boasts a great design, the G935 truly excels in the audio department. Bass is booming, highs are crisp and clear, and the soundscape is impressive, allowing you to pinpoint the source of audio with incredible accuracy.
Oh, and (wired) compatibility with just about every console alongside PC is a bonus too.
Read our full Logitech G935 review
6. Astro A50 Wireless
The Astro A50 Wireless is premium in just about every respect, from design and build to the features and audio quality on offer, and the price-tag reflects that.
The USB base station doubles up as a wireless charger, making sure your headset is always fully charged, and the 40mm drivers produce Dolby Audio-powered audio that not only sounds great, but is highly directional too. The headset is largely comfortable to wear thanks to soft-touch padding, but the fit is a bit tight for those of us with larger heads.
The main issue is that it costs a lot more than most gaming headsets in our chart, and while the A50 Wireless is phenomenal, there are cheaper options that perform at a similar level.
Read our full Astro A50 Wireless review
7. Audeze Mobius
Traditionally a big-name in the hi-fi market, Audeze is a newcomer to the gaming scene, and the Mobius is one of the most expensive gaming headsets currently available. However, the hefty price tag includes impressive sound quality, versatile connectivity features, and a great sense of space that really puts you right in the middle of the action.
Based on the company’s ‘planar magnetic’ technology, the Mobius headphones sound great, with clear, sharp high frequencies and a rich, strong bass sound that works well both for music and shoot-em-up action games. There’s USB-Audio output for PCs and Macs, 3.5mm connector for older devices, and Bluetooth wireless. You can even buy special cryo-gel earpieces to keep you cool in the heat of battle.
Read our full Audeze Mobius review
8. Sennheiser GSP 370
The Sennheiser GSP 370 delivers on a long battery life, claiming up to 100 hours worth of uninterrupted playtime. But the battery is not the only winning feature; it's comfortable for long periods of time, and the audio is high quality and dynamic, especially for PC users who have an extra level of customisation.
It's a shame that this headset isn't compatible with more devices than just the PS4 and PC - and that the microphone is fixed - as otherwise this could have doubled up nicely as an everyday headset as other rivals can. However, if all you're looking for is a headset with a massive battery, then this should be one high on your list.
Read our full Sennheiser GSP 370 review
9. SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
You really can’t go wrong with SteelSeries products and the Arctis Pro + GameDAC is a perfect example of this - exceptional build quality and design meet harmoniously with exceptional, highly-customisable sound quality and diversity.
The GameDAC allows you to create your own audio profiles with ease and switch them on the fly, so you can manually boost the highs to hear those footsteps over the gunfire or drag the lows up for that thumping, concussive, immersive sound.
Read our full SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC review
10. Sennheiser GSP 670
With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, Sennheiser's premium GSP 670 is a great option for those that want a high-quality headset both for gaming and everyday use, although the chunky nature of the headset might make you stand out like a sore thumb on the bus. It offers a blend of plastic and soft-touch padded material that should provide a comfortable experience for the majority of consumers, but we found pressure would build up around the headband over long periods of play.
But, unsurprisingly with a Sennheiser product, audio quality is the main reason to pick up the GSP 670. It offers booming bass that doesn’t overpower the mids or highs, and a simulated 7.1 surround sound experience really helps immerse you in the game. It’s further improved via preset EQs available as part of the Sennheiser Gaming Suite on PC, but without the ability to save profiles to the headset, the EQs aren’t available when using the headset with the PS4 or listening to music via Bluetooth.
Read our full Sennheiser GSP 670 review
11. 1More Spearhead VRX
The 1More Spearhead VRX is unique in that it’s the only headset in our chart to offer positional head tracking, and it works surprisingly well. The end result is a more immersive, realistic gaming experience where audio is affected by the way you turn your head. The audio quality is crisp and the bass is booming, thanks to the built-in 50mm vibrating drivers, making them perfect for gaming and listening to music too.
It’s also the only headset in our chart that doesn’t offer an adjustable mic, instead opting for a small microphone in the earcup much like with standard smartphone headphones. We were admittedly sceptical about how well it’d perform, and though it isn’t a perfect experience, it certainly exceeded our expectations.
Read our full 1More Spearhead VRX review
12. Plantronics Rig 500 Pro
Set the aesthetics aside, and the Rig 500 Pro is a really impressive gaming headset for its price. We've frequently forgotten that this is costs less than £100/$100 while we've been using it, happily switching between it and some far more expensive alternatives in our chart.
Solid metal construction means its comfortable and built to last, with powerful bass that’s perfect for driving shooters and refreshingly simple controls.
Read our full Plantronics Rig 500 Pro review
13. ROG Strix Fusion 500
With the recent price drop, the Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 is now more tempting than ever before. It may not have some of the bells and whistles of other gaming headsets in our chart, but it’s well-built, comfortable to wear and most importantly, it sounds incredible. The virtual 7.1 surround sound support immerses you in your favourite games, allowing you to pick up directional audio that can enhance your overall gameplay experience – especially in fast-paced online shooters where split-second reaction times are a necessity.
Our only complaint is that despite being compatible with PS4 as well as PC, swipe input isn’t supported by the console.
Read our full ROG Strix Fusion 500 review
What should I consider when buying a gaming headset?
Still, it's not always a straightforward decision, and you'll have to bear a few factors in mind.
First, there's the console you want to use it for. The Switch and 3DS only support wired 3.5mm headphones, so that rules out wireless headsets if your main aim is playing on a Nintendo console. Consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One offer support for both 3.5mm headphones and wireless headphones, but it's not as straightforward as it is for PC users.
Wireless connectivity has come a long way in the past few years, there's no doubt about it, offering a similar level of response time and audio quality as wired counterparts. The only issue is cross-platform compatibility; while PC users can freely use any PS4 or Xbox One-branded wireless headset, due to different connection methods, you can't use a PS4-branded headset on an Xbox One. You've also got battery life to consider, which isn't an issue for wired counterparts.
You'll also need to think about whether you want an in-line or boom microphone, whether you need them to be lightweight and portable or not, and how much muting and audio mixing functionality you need built-in.
That's not even getting into aesthetics - while gaming headsets have traditionally been garish, companies are designing understated sets that you'd be equally happy to use as your default audio gear - though check out our guide to the best headphones if you want to keep your gaming and music separate.